12 Dec 2007

Tonga civil society call for referendum ahead of political reforms

3:30 pm on 12 December 2007

The chairman of the Tonga Civil Society Forum says there needs to widespread consultation and a possible referendum before political reforms are put in place.

The Government is promising that by 2010 the majority of MPs will be elected by the people, while some pro-democracy activists want such reform implemented by next year.

But the chair of the Civil Society Forum, Drew Havea, says ordinary Tongans do not have much idea of what the proposed changes are.

He says the people need to be clear about the objectives of the reform and how it will work.

"So there needs to be a national consultation so that people understand and if there is a major issue of change that needs to happen, then I think we have to go to a referendum to make sure that that is the voice of the majority."

Drew Havea